2012 is my year of Self-Compassion, Untangle(ing) and Practice. Within those three overarching themes, however, are lots of much more specific goals.
Busting clutter, for example.
Under the theme of Practice, and in keeping with the spirit of my 15 Minutes-a-Day Creative Challenge, 2012 is also shaping up to be my Year of Writing. And more specifically, my Year of Publishing.
Sure, I publish a couple of times a week right here on the blog, but publishing a book is a different animal.
So what am I doing to make this my Year of Publishing?
In addition to my blog-writing time, I put time in every day on writing for publication. I’m starting with an e-book (or ebook? or eBook? the debate rages), coming out via ASpindle later this year. When that’s done, I’m working my way through several real-life projects in Lee Stranahan‘s Digital Publishing Boot Camp. (Super-awesome course, btw — highly recommended!)
With Kindles and e-readers (e-readers? eReaders?) becoming all the rage, self-publishing is a whole new world, with gobs of potential that simply didn’t exist before. (The days of “Vanity Publishing” seem quaint now.) It will be very interesting to see how it evolves.
The big, E ticket goal for many, though, is still to get published, by an already-established, honest-to-goodness “Real Publisher.”
The 80% Dream
It turns out a LOT of people dream of writing a book — some surveys have shown that fully 80% of people have “write a book” on their list of life goals.
The world of publishing, though, has always been a big, opaque mystery. How does one even go about trying to get published? Do you need an agent? If so, how do you get one? How do you write a query letter? How do you craft a strong proposal? If you’re so lucky as to land a contract, how do you navigate the legalese?
The unknowns seem endless.
No wonder very few of that 80% actually ever follow through on their dreams of writing a book and getting published!
Chris Guillebeau to the Rescue!
If you’ve been here awhile, you may know that Chris Guillebeau was the unwitting catalyst for this blog. He’s been an inspiration to me in so many ways, starting with being a model of living the life you really, really want — doing what you love, making an impact, and making a damn good living at it.
He’s also created numerous amazing products that I’ve found incredibly helpful, and have used as models for my own offerings. (The Empire Building Kit, the Unconventional Guide to Art + Money, the Travel Hacking Cartel, to name just a few.)
Now, drawing on the experience of publishing his best-selling book, The Art of Non-Conformity (#8 on Amazon in its first week out), and his 2nd book (coming out in May), Chris has a new, comprehensive guide that anyone with “write a book” on their bucket list would be smart to get their hands on.
The Unconventional Guide to Publishing
Like most of Chris’ offerings, the Unconventional Guide to Publishing is a multi-media package, at the heart of which is a 45,000-word guide by Chris’ own literary agent, 20-year publishing industry veteran David Fugate.
Fugate and Chris have teamed up to offer a comprehensive solution to understanding the publishing industry, and I’m VERY excited about it!
In addition to the 45,000-word e-book (ebook? eBook?) are lots of supplemental interviews, recordings and transcripts, including:
- Sample query letters and a sample agent + author contract
- How to find an agent (and why you need one)
- How to craft a strong proposal that will get editors excited
- Questions to ask when considering an offer
- The three clauses in every book contract you should pay close attention to (Warning: if you miss these, you’ll regret it later)
- Everything about money—advances, royalties, foreign rights, auctions and more
There are three package options — “Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Austen” — and through Friday only you can get the top tier “Hemingway” option for a discount, plus more special rewards:
For 3 days only, early purchasers get:
- A 25% discount on the $129 tier (discount price: $97) (This is the one I bought!)
- An extended Q&A conference call with David Fugate, veteran literary agent and author of the guide
- A personal review of the buyer’s community-building plan with Chris Guillebeau himself
It’s a pretty slick offer, but it’s only available until midnight PST on Friday, January 13, so I wanted to let you know about it asap! Click here to get your discount and rewards.
No I’m off to work on my e-book/ebook/eBook.
Full disclosure: I’m an affiliate partner with Chris, so if you click through and buy via one of my links, I’ll receive a commission. (Actually, for Chris’ stuff, I’ll only receive a commission if mine is the first link you click. So if you want to send that commission to someone else, go click on their link first!)
More full disclosure: I’m actually an affiliate partner with dozens of companies, most of which I never mention here. I only ever promote products and services here which I think are relevant to you, and which I can fully stand behind. (If you’re interested in other stuff I use, love and wholeheartedly recommend, click here.) In Chris’ case, even though I haven’t had a spare second to even skim through my copy of the Unconventional Guide to Publishing yet, sharing it here was a no-brainer.
Every single thing I’ve ever bought from Chris has been top-notch. I don’t even think anymore before purchasing from him — if it’s up my alley, I buy it. Period. I’ve never been disappointed with one of his Unconventional Guides. (If you buy the guide on the strength of my recommendation and are unhappy with it, you can complain to me about it — that’s how confident I am. Plus Chris offers a 100% Effectiveness Guarantee.)
Tell me, is writing a book on your bucket list? What steps are you taking to make it happen?
PS — Pssst! Know someone else who wants to write a book and could use a secret weapon? Pass it on!
El Edwards says
Hi Melissa 🙂
I agree with you about Chris’s stuff. I have (and loved!) the original unconventional guide (can’t remember the full title though!) The only thing I’m torn between is this and Danielle La Porte’s Beautiful Big Book plan. At the top tier there’s not much to separate them price wise. I don’t suppose you’ve read them both and can do a comparison? That would be super helpful 🙂
Melissa Dinwiddie says
Hi El! Nice to see you here!
I came *this* close to buying he Big Beautiful Book Plan, but didn’t do it. I’m kinda dying to do a comparison, but am saving my pennies for now. If you buy Chris’ top tier during the special, it’s actually 1/3 less than BBBP – $97 vs. $150.
At such point as I actually have a book (BOOK-book) in progress, I may pay the $$ and check the BBBP out, in which case I probably won’t be able to keep myself from doing a side-by-side comparison! Given that I have several publishing projects in the queue before the BOOK-book, though, I’m holding off for now. 🙂
LaVonne Ellis says
I’m in Lee Stranahan’s course too, and I love it. I’ve read so much about publishing in the past 30 years or so that I don’t feel the need to get Chris’s product, mainly because I’ve decided that mainstream publishing is not for me. I’ve edited books for several authors, and their experiences with publishers were quite discouraging.
You have to be willing to do all the promotion yourself with little-to-no help from your publisher. IF you can drum up enough sales for them to notice, THEN you might get promotional help. But don’t hold your breath.
So, since it’s all up to me anyway, I figure why not keep all the profits too?
Melissa Dinwiddie says
I think the best reason to have a “published book” is that it still brings a lot of credibility.
It’s basically a very cool business card. 😉
The cool thing is that there are so many ways to publish these days! I’m excited about taking advantage of as many of them as I can. 🙂
LaVonne Ellis says
Oh, I totally agree that a published book is a fantastic thing to have on your resume. I’m so glad that the options are much greater now than ever before.
Melissa Dinwiddie says
OMG, we are SO lucky! I’m reading Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography (HIGHLY recommended, btw — and free on Kindle), and one had to own a press to have the kind of ability to make your voice heard that we give nary a thought to today!